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Watch Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor play X-Japan’s Endless Rain with Yoshiki and Babymetal on Japan‘s biggest TV show

Brian May
(Image credit: NHK)

Queen duo Brian May and Roger Taylor made a New Year’s Eve appearance on Japan’s biggest TV show, lending their support to X Japan leader Yoshiki on his performance of X Japan anthem Endless Rain.

Yoshiki’s band X Japan pioneered the visual kei movement – a flamboyant clash of music, art and fashion, with its roots in punk, glam rock, anime and noh theatre - in their homeland and are considered as significant to the development of rock in Asia as The Beatles, having sold over 30 million albums. Consequently, Yoshiki has been invited to perform on Japan’s biggest TV show, NHK’s  annual, long-running New Year’s Eve spectacular Kohaku Uta Gassen, no fewer than 11 times, both as a solo artist and with X Japan. This 2020 performance was the singer/drummer/pianist’s sixth consecutive appearance on the hugely popular entertainment show, and featured a guest appearance from kawaii metal superstars Babymetal, as well as Queen’s guitarist and drummer.

Yoshiki, Taylor and May have been friends since the early ’90s, with Taylor co-writing a track called Foreign Sand with the X Japan man in 1994. Back in 2015, to celebrate the announcement that the 2016 Classic Rock Awards were to be held in Tokyo, Yoshiki performed Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody for an audience which included Brian May. 

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.